My made up tri-camp reflections…

So, if you check back a couple of posts you can read about my fake tri-camp I went to this week.  Basically, I was off from teaching–so I had actual energy & thought I would use it by shaking up my training a bit.  I was, as always, over-ambitious–but I did try a couple of things.

#1: Ocean swim:  This is a L.A. tri club weekly event (May-September).  It’s in Santa Monica–there’s a buoy placed out in the ocean, some cones on land—we swim to the buoy, run to the cones, and repeat as many times as you want.  It’s really the only ocean swim I’ll do because 1) it can be as long or as short of a workout as you want, 2) there are tons of people there–so it mimics the triathlon start & makes me feel safe from sharks and drowning.  I hadn’t been in the ocean since October, and man, I forgot how terrifying it can seem.  I mean, I hear about people who grew up in the water & are totally comfortable in it & just “ride the waves”—I am not that kind of person.  I jump into  the ocean & feel like I’m at war the whole time, being beat up & in survival mode.  Also, this is cold ocean water.  Really cold.  All I could think about for the first minute was “when am I getting past these waves?” and “I can’t feel my face.”  At no point did I think “wow, this is fun!”   It seemed like hours before I hit land again (ummm, nope, turns out only 7 minutes) & instead of running around cones & going a second time–I ran quickly to my car & drove to the safety of my gym pool.  I was proud that I actually made it out, though–and thought “well, next time will most likely be better.”  It does wake you up, though, that’s one thing I can say about it.  And I’m sure if I wasn’t freezing the whole time, I could’ve appreciated the sun rising and all that beauty.

#2: Trail run:  I live fairly close to a ridiculous amount of awesome trails.  It is part of the reason I love living here.  But honestly, when I’m crunched for time, it’s so much easier just to run out the door & go my typical route.  Even though there are some quiet moments along my normal route, for most of it, it’s full of cars & traffic.  I love runs where I don’t run into a single person (or car!)…it’s a completely different feel.  It’s part of the reason NYC running annoyed me at times–people everywhere!  So I took Friday off & made my way along the coast into Malibu & just drove until I found a trail.  I had run this before, but only once–so it still seemed fresh.  The wildflowers are in bloom & there is water in the creeks, so it was completely beautiful.  The way up is always a little challenging, but it’s totally worth it when you get up to the top of the trail & get to run down it…so much fun!  After one of these runs is over, I always think, “I NEED to do this more often!”

#3:  UCLA Workout:  This was the scariest of my ‘new’ workouts this week–but the most fun & challenging.  Best of all, it’s FREE.  I’ve decided not to put any more money into any training/lessons/gear yet–as long as I feel I can make decent progress without it, I don’t need to buy it yet.  Anyway, this is led by the UCLA triathlon coach–and part of the team was there along with half a dozen or so L.A. Tri club members.  He limits the numbers, which is nice.  We meet at the UCLA track–we put our bikes on “trainers” (allowing us to ride in place…I’ve never used these before since L.A. weather is consistently gorgeous, but I’m sure people in other parts of the country are used to them–really cool, actually, I may invest in one next winter when the days get so short).  Now, it’s billed as a “bike/run” workout–so I’m thinking we will bike for an hour, run for 30 min or something like that.  Oh no…we do much shorter intervals (bike 5 min/run 800 yds) and (bike 3 min/run 400 yds) over and over again.  There is a constant changing of shoes (bike to run), which allows you to practice your transition a dozen times.  I met some great people, got some advice from the coach on my running form, & really pushed myself—and had a blast!  He offers these once a month, so I definitely hope to do more in the future!  Now I just need an adjunct gig teaching at UCLA, so I can join the team!

Those were my “shaking it up” workouts–I skipped a group run, but I’m getting a friend to go with me next week.  And I kept my normal workouts in, too (doing my long bike tomorrow & looking forward to adding some distance).  I’m really learning how time in between races really allows you to improve–where as my “race every 2 weekends” pretty much allows you to…race every two weekends.  I’m sure I improve through racing, but I’d almost like a good 3 months where I’m just building on my training & not worried about resting up before races & recovery time after…who am I kidding, I really love races!!!  But when I do mix my training up, it keeps it exciting & meeting other people in the sport is always a good thing (everyone’s so nice).  So it was a fun week of some new stuff & am eager to keep building on this even with classes starting up again this week.